Mogwai
Government Commissions


3.5
great

Review

by Adam Jones is GOD USER (14 Reviews)
March 3rd, 2005 | 2 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


This latest offering from Mogwai is actually, nothing new. Almost every track on here has been released in some shape or form, either on past albums, or on Eps. So, is it some sort of greatest hits? Not by a long way (some severely noticeable absentees if it was). What this album is, is a collection of live recordings taken from a number of BBC sessions that the band have done over the years.

Its no lie that BBC radio (especially the late John Peel) were huge fans of the band, and they in turn returned the favour by putting on a great set each time. In the opinion of the band, their best recordings of most of their songs came from these sessions. Hence, they decided releasing an album of the best of these was in order.

The track list is strong. Some old and new tracks thrown in, and it shows off most of the bands aspects. And for older recordings such as Superheros of BMX and R U Still 2 It sound fresher in this live environment and are a worthy re-release. Newer tracks like Hunted By A Freak however seem to lose some of their charm when played in such a stripped down way, but it opens the album with an introduction from John Peel, which gives it major credibility for a few seconds.

This is a real hit and miss selection. Kappa retains all that makes it good, and is modified to make its dynamics stand out more. Like Herod is fresher played in a live atmosphere, yet is needlessly dragged out to the 18 minute length, with the increasingly annoying Mogwai habit of creating mass noise from feedback and effects where its not needed. Cody brings Stuartís voice into focus, and he proves he can sing outside the studio to all those who have yet to see them live. Secret Pint offers more lyrics, and is a good choice from the slightly disappointing Rock Action album. The closing Stop Coming To My House has little charm compared to the album version, and the change from drum machine to drum set ruins the song for me.

This is a good collection of songs, and for those that are a bit dated, itís a good make over. Its not a live album really though, as it does not have the effect that a live Mogwai show has. It falls short of a greatest hits by a long way, but is still better than a re release. Think of it as the bandís random playlist put onto a CD for your enjoyment.

Pros

Nice mix of new and old
Nice to hear some live Mogwai
Some real stand out moments

Cons

Some tracks do not work well live
Bands choice of track rather than the fans
Bottom line, its nothing new


If you are a Mogwai fan (I know youíre out there), buy it; it may remind you of seeing them live, or at least you will have a favourite on here.
If you havenít heard any Mogwai, starting here could be a good and bad thing. Itís a wide range of their palette, but also it does some tracks too much justice, and others not enough.

Stand Out Tracks
Kappa
Superheroes of BMX



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user ratings (57)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Scott Herren
March 4th 2005


192 Comments


Thanks for reviewing this. I will be getting it soon. Good review.

gaslight
December 28th 2005


46 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Goverment Commissions is an excellent live album, I'd say it's a must-have or at least must-hear for any Mogwai fan.

It's great to see them reproduce songs like Hunted By A Freak so well in a live setting, and really nice to see the older tracks included - especially New Paths To Helicon, Part 1 from the Ten Rapid album.



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